\ ˈbōd How to pronounce bode (audio) \
boded; boding

Definition of bode

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to indicate (something, such as a future event) by signs : presage bode disaster recent data that bodes well for her reelection
2 archaic : to announce beforehand : foretell
bode ill
: to show or suggest that future developments or events will be unfavorable or unwelcome : to be a sign of trouble to come Any further diminishing of the species' gene pool can only bode ill for the future.— John Hew Fanshawe
bode well
: to show or suggest that future developments or events will be good or favorable : to be a sign of good things to come … the news … does not bode well for our future standard of living.— Lester C. Thurow


Definition of bode (Entry 2 of 2)

past tense of bide

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Synonyms for bode

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of bode in a Sentence

Verb This could bode disaster for all involved. her natural gift for reading boded well for her future in school
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb That bodes well for Knights bettors: in games following shutouts last season, Fleury registered a fine .941 save percentage. Skip Snow, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Vegas Golden Knights at Chicago Blackhawks odds, picks and betting tips," 22 Oct. 2019 After setting records across the state for high temperatures on Wednesday, however, more seasonable weather moved into the area and the forecast calls for more of the same over the next week, which could bode well for pumpkin crops and sales. Taylor Deville,, "Carroll County, area farmers say recent drought hasn’t stemmed pumpkin supply," 4 Oct. 2019 His advanced approach bodes well even if his bat-to-ball skills have not, to date, matched it. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Minors: Center fielders to watch in the Padres’ farm system," 26 Sep. 2019 None of this bodes well for anyone who’d been hoping to see Netanyahu remain in power. Zachary Evans, National Review, "Making Sense of Israel’s Post-Election Political Chaos," 20 Sep. 2019 This bodes well for Conti and Pinori, who perform outside the Uffizi in front of a vast image advertising the gallery’s new Leonardo Room on the second floor. Claudia Kalb, National Geographic, "See where Leonardo da Vinci still walks the streets," 6 June 2019 The next president of the European Union’s executive arm says the Brexit agreement between the EU and the British government bodes well for their future relationship. Washington Post, "The Latest: EU lawmakers might not OK Brexit deal by Oct. 31," 17 Oct. 2019 Beckham also watched his young and then embattled quarterback Baker Mayfield re-gain his moxie and confidence in Baltimore, which should bode well for their future. Mary Kay Cabot, cleveland, "Odell Beckham Jr. out to erase the memory of his lone, bad postseason game: ‘I just want to get back to the playoffs’," 5 Oct. 2019 Prague, Czech Republic There’s a Czech term for an Indian summer (babí léto), which bodes well for the possibility of warm days stretching to November. Condé Nast Traveler, "12 Best Places to Visit in Europe in October for Stunning Fall Foliage," 4 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bode.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bode


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for bode


Middle English, from Old English bodian; akin to Old English bēodan to proclaim — more at bid entry 1

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Time Traveler for bode

Time Traveler

The first known use of bode was before the 12th century

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Statistics for bode

Last Updated

5 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Bode.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 7 December 2019.

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How to pronounce bode (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of bode

: to be a sign of (a future event or situation)


\ ˈbōd How to pronounce bode (audio) \
boded; boding

Kids Definition of bode

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to be a sign of (a future event) This could bode difficulty for all of us.


Kids Definition of bode (Entry 2 of 2)

past tense of bide

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bode

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bode

Spanish Central: Translation of bode

Nglish: Translation of bode for Spanish Speakers

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